243833 A transdisciplinary partnership to improve healthy food and nutrition choices in South Boston, through youth empowerment

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pratibha Shah, Masters degree in Ayurveda, MPH , International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Maya Saunders , Grade 12, Boston Latin Academy, Boston, MA
Alix Wilson , International Health, BUSPH, Boston, MA
Lois McCloskey, DrPH , Department of Community Health Sciences/MCH, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
South Boston is among the poorest urban areas in the country with nearly one in four of its residents living in poverty. Against a backdrop of high substance abuse and crime, the South Boston Community Health Center runs the ‘Institute for a Healthier Community' (IHC) to enable and support youth to become positive role models. This presentation describes and evaluates a partnership project between IHC youth and public health, medical and dental students that addressed youth identified issues around nutrition such as access to, awareness and availability of healthy food. The goal of this project was to empower South Boston youth to be leaders in engaging with their community to choose healthier lifestyles through the promotion of nutritious diets and physical activity. To achieve this goal, the student team used the Challenge Model, which is a leadership development tool developed by the Management Sciences for Health, adopting a systematic approach to the project, starting with a shared vision, a specific mission, situation analysis, identification of barriers and facilitators and ending with an operational plan to achieve measurable results. A consensual decision was taken to develop and showcase at least two, youth developed, nutrition related products and activities, on the South Boston community's youth led annual event named ‘Community Day', with the active participation of 10 youth. The project was executed successfully with the results surpassing the measurable result target. Final recommendations included utilizing, promoting and developing further, the products that were developed for the Community Day.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe ways in which youth can be successfully engaged, enabled and empowered to lead health initiatives in their community Demonstrate proper use of the Challenge Model Describe the impact of issues around better food choices like access and availability

Keywords: Nutrition, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this project because I was involved in implementing it.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.